Do we fall in love all at once or is it possible to keep falling deeper and deeper as time goes on? I met my partner at 17. We've been together through three kids and a bunch of years and I still get a little buzz when he walks in the door. It's not all roses and sunshine in my house and there's plenty of bickering and disagreement, but a long lasting relationship takes work. Love can go deeper and there are often small gestures to make your partner fall more in love with you.
Love is more than a social connection, it can be biological, too. According to Psychology Today, there is science behind falling in love. With the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that carries signals between brain cells, senses are often heightened, causing enhanced feelings of well-being. This also triggers the release of testosterone, which brings on sexual desire. The next step involves other neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and PEA (phenylethylamine). Norepinephrine is a stimulant and brings heightened awareness, particularly of the other person. PEA is the chemical that will make you feel giddy and unable to eat, but also depressed should the relationship not last.
Together these chemicals form a feedback loop that evolves into a reward system stimulated by simple things — a lover's touch, a glance, a kiss, a memory. As you settle into a relationship, these chemicals level off, but there are still things you can do to deepen your connection.
1. Look Them In The Eye
It's easy for eyes to wander during a conversation. You look at your phone, the clock, around the room, over at the baby. According to Today, couples who are deeply in love look each other in the eye 75 percent of the time. By striving to hit that number, you can trick your partner's brain into releasing PEA, that neurotransmitter responsible for the palm-sweating, heart racing feelings of love.
As a relationship goes on, the chemicals that are released are often less lust-based and more comfort-based, Syracuse University’s Human Sexuality and Love, Lust, and Relationship professor, Dr. Joe Fanelli told Her Campus. Cuddling releases oxytocin, which can enhance feelings of attraction.
3. Reinvent Date Night
Scheduling a date night is an important part of keeping a relationship fresh, but sometimes even that can get stale. According to the New York Times, the same brain circuits and chemicals that are affected by new love are also stimulated by new experiences. Instead of dinner and a movie or hanging out with the usual couples, try taking a cooking class, a nighttime walk on the beach or a visit to an amusement park.
4. Ride a Roller Coaster
Speaking of amusement parks, a great way to spark romance is through adrenaline. A 2011 study showed that an increase in adrenaline caused an increase in attraction between people. Get on that roller coaster, bungee jump or go see a horror movie.
5. Positive Energy
Smiling, laughing and loving are contagious and if you practice these around your partner, they will start to reflect them. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, writing in Psychology Today, "The more positive energy we give off, the more we'll receive. Ditto for negativity. It works like this: Love attracts love. Grumpiness attracts grumpiness. Passion attracts passion. Rage attracts rage."
6. Wear Red
Break out that red dress or a scarlet sweater. A 2008 study at the University of Rochester showed that men had stronger feelings of attraction toward women in red than in other colors. This finding has basis in the animal kingdom, where non-human primates like baboons and chimpanzees redden as they near ovulation.
7. Give Them Time For Themselves
As tempting as it is to want to spend all of your free time with your partner, it's good for both of you to have time to do your own thing. According to Psychology Today, solitude can enhance your relationships. Encouraging them to have some time to themselves can go a long way toward how they feel toward you.
8. Make Them Dessert
9. Listen To "Your Song"
Memories can spark feelings of love, particularly musical memories. A study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience showed how dopamine was released when people listened to music with which they felt an emotional connection.
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